My Dear Family & Friends,
I have some exciting news to share with you.
Over the past many months, the St. Mark lay and staff leadership have become convinced that the Lord is calling us to be more active in the community in which He has placed us. We at St. Mark need to “get our hands dirty” and be the Salt and Light the Lord has created us to be. We need to reach out and lead people to Jesus in visible, tangible, and practical ways, meeting them where they are as Jesus has for us.
This is neither new nor surprising.
To put this into full effect, however, will require a new sense of purpose for missions and ministries to people in our community and a reallocation of resources and ministry emphasis. It will require lay leaders to step forward and members to engage in new missions and ministries, some of which are beyond our current comfort zone.
It will also require shifting of responsibilities and realignment of roles on staff, most noticeably it will mean new roles for Pastor Duerr and me.
I had requested to step down from the Senior Pastor position and into a newly created position of “Associate Pastor of Outreach.” Conversely, Pastor Duerr was to move into the position as the Senior Pastor at St. Mark.
Some may find this puzzling, confusing, or even alarming. Please don’t! It was my desire and request to step out of an administrative role (which has neither been my forte nor my passion) and into a role where I get to be “back in the trenches,” helping people beyond my office. I want to get out and positively impact families, our city, and our world. I want to be with people more and in my office less.
As administrative items still need to happen, and as Pastor Duerr is an excellent pastor and administrator, this role reversal made sense all around. I firmly believe it is for the best for St. Mark and for me!
Earlier this evening, the voting members of St. Mark met to discuss and vote on this issue and, I am thrilled to say, they were led by the Holy Spirit to move us in this direction! They issued a new Call to Pastor Duerr and to me and we have both accepted those Calls!
I am excited about the future of St. Mark and am committed to revitalizing our congregation’s focus on missions! I am eagerly anticipating the opportunities these external missions and ministries will give each of us to live out our faith in a meaningful way that not only shares the Word, but touches lives with the love of our Lord.
Be advised, however: to make all this work, we will need the people of St. Mark to step up and help be these hands and feet! My new position is not one where I get (or even can) do all this myself. It requires all of us to take part and be involved.
On Sunday, January 25, at 3:00 p.m., Pastor Duerr and I will be installed into our new positions (though we will begin our work in them tomorrow). We would be honored if you would join us for this awesome event and celebrate this direction for St. Mark!
In great Joy!